Marketing & Public Relations Firm - Verasoni Worldwide

All posts tagged reputation management

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — A new nationwide study conducted by AhHa! Insights, the research division of Verasoni Worldwide, examined the top 150 downloaded mobile health applications (mHealth) among iPhone and Android users through March 31, 2012.  With more than 46 percent of the American population now owning smartphones, more and more people are turning to mHealth to help manage, monitor and improve their health. Mobile healthcare applications make up an increasing share of the apps available in the Android and iOS app markets. Though in this study, in regards to the iOS market, only apps available for the iPhone were examined.

The results show that weight loss and exercise applications are more heavily downloaded by far than any others.  The study examines the adoption of mHealth as a part of personal health management. It also provides further insight as to what health categories people may be interested in when using mHealth applications to manage their health and wellness.

Key findings include:

  • Weight Loss and Exercise apps dominated the top 150 downloaded mHealth apps on both the iPhone and Android devices.
  • iPhone users are seven times more likely to pay for a mobile healthcare app than Android users.
  • Medical reference applications were downloaded ten times more by Android consumers than by iPhone consumers.
  • Weight Loss and Exercise comprised 60 percent of total downloads. When “Weight Loss” and “Exercise” were removed from consideration, the following are the top six categories, in order:
    • Women’s Health
    • Sleep and Meditation
    • Pregnancy
    • Tools and Instruments
    • Reference
    • Emergency
  • Top grossing applications for both Android and iPhone combined were Exercise, Weight Loss, Sleep & Meditation and Women’s Health.

“While mHealth is in its infancy, the potential of mHealth applications is well on its way. Though, no where in the top 150 applications for both iPhone and Android did we find significant downloads of connected medical and health applications such as blood pressure monitoring that delivers feedback to physicians offices, so it appears that the real potential of mHealth in terms of monitoring, diagnosing and providing real time results falls short here,” said Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide. “What this study tells us is what people are downloading. We do not know if and how these mHealth apps are being used or if they are having the desired effect that both their publisher or user has in mind,” continued Kasbo.

The study was conducted by AhHa! Insights, the research division of marketing and public relations firm Verasoni Worldwide. To view the entire study please visit

About Verasoni Worldwide

Verasoni Worldwide is an integrated marketing and public relations firm with offices in Montclair, New Jersey and New York City. Verasoni Worldwide delivers expertise to multiple markets including healthcare, financial services and banking, government, travel and hospitality and not for profit.  Verasoni Worldwide develops and implements meaningful, cut-through marketing communications strategies for clients.  Verasoni Worldwide is a pioneer in the integration of digital and traditional media, including public relations, advertising, brand development, reputation management and global marketing communications strategies. To learn more visit Twitter: @verasoni.

Did you know that The New York Times is in the wine business? The Washington Post got into what was perceived to be the power broker business? Until of course someone shed some light on that “business” line. And CNBC is all about not upsetting business by making sure that their programming and prodigious prognosticators move markets ever upward either through sheer will, if not fast talk. Market is up, everyone is happier than a bee on caffeine. Yeah, in a downmarket, the talking heads look like they want to take their ball and go home. Bummer…These guys are the Big & Bad, these are icons of journalism.

So what does this all mean? For one thing, it confirms that content is king, I will explain the what and why later in this piece. Yes, The New York Times has to capitalize on its database to drive more dollars to the bottom line – so, let’s start a wine club! The Washington Post watched it’s circulation drop, so selling access to powerful Washingtonians seemed logical and highly accretive to the bottom line. It makes perfect sense…until it doesn’t.

Core business is critical in journalism – not earth shattering news I am sure. Let’s get serious for a minute about this and ask a critical question, What is the state of journalism as it relates to advertisers? The reason why I am using the word Journalism and not media or some other word is intentional. And while experts in suits are screaming at the demise of “traditional media” – meaning newspapers, television, radio – I submit that they are wrong, dead wrong. Why? Content IS king. The proof is Wikileaks. I mean, if these folks don’t wake up and find out that true, inspired, untarnished journalism sells, they will continue to find other ways of keeping their business relevant, like selling spirits and driving people to Twitter or asking people to pay for their “content.” The world of journalism, has actually become even more serious and competitive, but our Bigs are still asleep at the printing press or the remote control.

When the few who were calling the coming crash in between 2003-2008, the mainstream business media, including CNBC’s fell silent.  No one wanted to ruin the party.  You mean people would not have wanted to get another perspective from someone who doesn’t talk very fast and perhaps doesn’t wear a tie? Check out Jon Stewart’s – all too late I might add, but someone had to do it – undressing of Cramer on the subject…

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are hot topics these days.  From my perspective, for the wrong reasons. Governments rail against Wikileaks as they try to cover information otherwise not easily attainable by the public. The public’s apparent appetite for the information on Wikileaks has been, and I suspect will continue to be insatiable. So when Wikileaks puts out an alert, The New York Times actually promotes the content on Wikileaks and distributes it on its website and in print. While this is part in parcel with the mission of Wikileaks, The New York Times should have identified a business opportunity, one that allows it to be the trusted source for relevant content. Advertisers want and need sticky content. Wouldn’t it be better if the Grey Lady played in the same game as Wikileaks? I am taking The Times at task here, but many fine newspapers and television stations across the United States and world suffer from the same crippling disease. Yes, people are interested in this stuff, highly interested. And if you report on what Wikileaks did, I would rather visit Wikileaks, the source. Our journalists should be the source.

By many, Assange is viewed as a modern day Robin Hood, by others as spoiler and traitor.  The global media titans ought view him as an innovator and disrupter and quickly learn from him.  Wikileaks is clearly a game changer, and has quickly become a global brand, and a trusted source to boot.  Every time a whistle-blower chooses Wikileaks over “trusted” journalistic icons should make people who care deeply about these institutions mad as hell because he/she did not or could not use the traditional route to get the word out.  Content lost!  No, I am mistaken, not content lost! Judging by how many people hit Wikileaks’ servers, relevant content lost and therefore dollars lost!

Which begs another question: does anyone still care about the traditional route?

That’s a topic to chew on another time.

Really what’s the big deal?  So Facebook hired a PR firm to smear Google, and it got caught. So what?  PR firms everywhere are scrambling to make sense of this, Inside Facebook, a well know blog, called it “a spectacularly failed attempt at undermining the competition.”

So Facebook is scared that Google will be able to beat them at their own game and it wanted to defame Google’s Social Circle.  So Google’s overtures into Facebook’s world was perceived as a real threat by Facebook.  Like HuffPost, Facebook’s content is not generated by others, so any attempts by Social Circle to pull content from Facebook is perceived as an attack on Facebook’s core business.  So Facebook hired global PR giant Burson-Marsteller to spread false information about Social Circle’s privacy policies to ultimately defame it and cause doubt in the minds of current and potential users.

I’ve now devoured about 50 articles about the subject in a couple of days.  The PR world is filled with condemnations and abuzz with horror to discover that Burson-Marsteller engaged in this type of behavior.  In the New York Times, “Paul Cordasco, Burson-Marsteller’s spokesman, said that the firm made a mistake.  He said “The mistake clearly was not being transparent about the client,” He added that employees would receive additional training to make them “fully aware of our code of responsibility that emphasizes full transparency.”

Let’s make some safe inferences based on Mr. Cordasco’s statements. First, he did not apologize for the covert tactics, but did addressed “client transparency.”  Second, he talked about some “code of responsibility” that emphasizes “full transparency.”  So they will be talking to their employees about this.  No where did I get a feeling of regret or contrition about their strategies and actions?

Look, I am not condoning Burson-Marsteller’s behavior, nor Facebook’s. But this happens in virtually arena where PR plays a role. Politics, finance, medicine…and I go on.  In addition, the idea of front-running false stories to destroy a political or business opponent’s credibility is only part of a larger epidemic of content distribution, true or false, to affect search rankings along with reputation.  It’s in the DNA of of some pr and marketing firms to do this work.  Yelp, Google Reviews are only some examples where people create false identities to promote or destroy a business’s credibility. Blogs are set up under false pretenses and micro-sites too.

Business on the internet is simply business. The business of defaming the competition existed way before the internet, and will continue to thrive as long as there is a need, PR and marketing firms not withstanding.


Please click here to read the article by Hugh Morley in The Record about working seniors as a desired demographic. Abe Kasbo, Marketing and PR firm CEO is quoted in the article.

By Abe Kasbo

So Wal-Mart is changing it’s logo I hear. So what? It’s part of a huge reputation repair job. According to Marketing Daily, Wal-Mart’s first revamp of the logo since 1992 comes as the retailer continues to tweak its image after facing criticism from union-led groups and local communities across the nation opposed to big-box store developments. In the time since, Wal-Mart has launched a marketing campaign highlighting its environmentally focused practices and efforts to make health care more affordable for customers through a discounted prescription drug program.”Wal-Mart’s got it right. Managing its reputation is good for its business. Wal-Mart will continue to try to convince people that “what’s good for Wal-Mart is good for America.”  Years of bad press, Wal-Mart Watch campaigns, and local protests have given Wal-Mart some things to thing about, like how to be survive and thrive despite its reputation.  Companies like Wal-Mart really need to think about engaging the market in the following ways:1. Become A Consumer Advocate – Deliver information to the market place to help consumers and key decision makers understand why doing business with your company makes a measurable difference in their daily lives. Wal-Mart’s tag line “Live Better. Save Money” did not spare the company from mass criticism here and abroad even though the tagline conveys “everything” that Wal-Mart would like us to know as consumers.2. Tell the Truth – In everything you do, be forthright with the marketplace. Consumer confidence right now is low because of the economic climate, but anecdotal evidence also suggests that consumers are tired of being lied-to. From Enron, to the sub-prime melt-down, there’s only so people can take. And confidence in your business is not something that can be repaired with a press release or key marketing messages.3. Use Open Mediums – That means the internet. Get your message into the hands of consumer crusaders who can light a fire under your campaigns and get the message out quickly and efficiently.  4. Be Prompt and Aggressive –  An attack on your reputation should be viewed as an attack on your core business. In 1982, Johnson & Johnson faced such an attack when the Tylenol murders happened. Tylenol’s market share collapsed from about 35% to about 8%, but rebounded in less than a year because J&J was upfront and out front of the situation. It controlled the message and introduced the capsules in triple sealed bottles to gain the public’s confidence.  Soon after, Tylenol regained its market leading position. So, being in business means that your reputation is on the line every day. And with the internet, your brand is really in the hands of other people. So controlling your reputation and brand comes down to how well you are prepared to engage the markets – for as long as it takes.